Saturday, December 09, 2006

Any old random weekend

I've had the hardest time lately getting back to blogging about...well, me. You know, the life that I live behind the reviews, news notes and somewhat interesting quotes? Yeah, that life.

Despite my elusiveness here on Meneltarma, be assured my life has been no less interesting. And in particular, all sorts of things tend to accompany the holidays as most can testify. And for lack of a really good summation of my entire life, I'll settle for relating the events of last night.

It was not a dark or stormy was, in point of fact, quite balmy. Working conditions had been temperate for a change, and I enjoyed the bonus of having thawed hands as much as I could. I took my leave of work at the normal time--also a welcome change considering the overtime we worked on other days--and headed straight for my living room (let the reader understand).

As I sat nursing a hot drink and reading, I suddenly got a call from someone I don't know. I was quick in deducing this particular fact because the woman on the line said: "you don't know me, but..."

It seems someone wanted a bass singer for a caroling adventure of sorts at the Lynden Museum that vary night--or rather, two hours from that very minute. It was a fundraiser and most of the details were lost on me until I actually arrived at the museum at 6:40 or so. I borrowed a vest from the museum and was good to go. It was quite fun actually. The incomparable Claire vg Thomas was present and accompanied us eventually on a stage with a piano. We did a few clever arrangements and called it good for the night.

This was all so strange... My image that it was going to be one of the last uneventful weekends before sometime in February was shattered (boohoo) :)

After taking my fill of meatballs Claire asked if I could take her home because she had come with her neighbor who was going to stay to the end of the event. I gleefully agreed, and if you don't know why, you don't know Claire. There is no distinct set of words that could really and truly describe her to a tee. She is at all times full of life, willing to share, willing to praise God, and ever so thankful for what life she has left in her later 80s. I in no way intended to interrupt her talk in the car for fear of missing some jewel of historical fact or another. She is incredibly sharp--still completing her dozen crossword puzzles and one book a day. With all her broken bones and health issues, she is ever so thankful that her hands are relatively untouched by the decades.

As we drove out of Lynden, she sat there in her grandmother's dress--yes, her grandmother died in the 1920s and there it was looking as good as new, meticulously cared for over the years by the family along with the accompanying hat which she wore just as stylishly as if it were in currently in vogue. She talked of the past with so much clarity, one would guess it had only been a few years and not 60 or 70 ago that it took place.

“I love that quote about music by Leonard Bernstein--I knew him you know…” was just one bit of context she would toss in at any point.

She would at times suddenly interrupt her current anecdote with by pointing to a place along the street.

"That's where I was born," she said, pointing with a touch of pride. "The man in that other house is 50 tomorrow and I'm playing for him..."

Before the evening was out she even related the one of her first times (maybe THE first) performing the Messiah. I'm sure I've heard it before, but that didn't matter--it was just as touching. Incredibly, it was with a group of Jewish students she was teaching at the time. She thought of her post as a way to reach out to them with the gospel and took the risk of using Handel despite the potential conflicts. The day of the performance was set for December 7, 1941. They heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor before the concert and Claire, in her sorrow, proposed they cancel the concert. Her students quickly rejected this idea and Claire was so happy they did. It ended up being a very meaningful performance for the audience.

Thus was my not-so-ordinary Friday evening concluded. I really enjoyed the spontaneity of it all....

I'll try to be back with more of my life if that's alright...

...that is, in-between the reviews, news and...